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Passenger Fault in Car Accident


Passenger fault in a car accident can make determining liability more complex. Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can help navigate tricky cases. Contact us today.

We are personal injury experts who have achieved results for our clients in St. Louis for over 40 years.

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Car Accident Passenger Fault


Motor vehicles get safer by the day, yet roadway fatalities in the US continue to surge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports reveal that 13 auto accidents happen every minute. According to the National Safety Council, car accidents resulted in 42,338 deaths in 2020 and cost the US economy $473.2 billion. Costs include productivity and wage losses, medical costs, employer costs, administrative expenses, and personal property damage.

Determining who was at fault is essential to ensure they are held accountable when a car accident occurs due to drunk driving, lack of seatbelt use, and speeding. Such actions are the most common causes of car crashes or truck accidents. However, passengers in a car or truck also cause accidents. Passenger fault typically results in distracted driving, which accounted for 6% of car crashes in 2020.

After an accident, a lot is at stake. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the passenger may be held partially or fully liable for the damages in a vehicle accident. In such a situation, it is crucial to seek legal representation to ensure your rights are protected. Missouri personal injury attorneys can help you evaluate the evidence and determine who is ultimately responsible for the accident.

Car Accident Compensation Claim


Persons involved in a vehicle accident where they sustained a personal injury are entitled to pursue compensation for damages and personal injuries. In Missouri, a personal injury claim involves filing a civil suit against the other driver, that driver’s insurance, and any other party to the accident. The party that suffered the personal injury or their lawyer must then prove who is at fault in the personal injury case.

Determining fault can be a complex process. A car accident lawyer can assist by gathering evidence such as the police report, witness accounts, and other necessary accounts of the accident. Once fault is determined, records of medical treatment, statements from other passengers injured or an additional passenger in a car. The injured party can work with a personal injury attorney to file a claim to pursue compensation.

All parties will have the opportunity to present their cases in court. The court will subsequently make a ruling on who is responsible and the amount of compensation to be paid out. If the injured party’s claim is successful, they may receive damages for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other amounts related to the accident.

Is A Passenger Ever At Fault?


A passenger in a car can be at fault in a vehicle accident and can be held partially or fully liable for damages depending on the circumstances of the accident. They may be held responsible for damages if their actions contributed to the accident in any way.

Contributing to the accident could include causing the driver to lose control of the steering wheel and the vehicle, failing to wear a seatbelt, distracting the driver, blocking the driver’s view, or engaging in other reckless behavior that impaired the driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

The investigator will determine if the passenger could have prevented harm. For example, an insurance company may reject a passenger’s claim if the passenger rides in a vehicle driven by a drunk or otherwise impaired driver.


Distracting Drivers: Ways Passengers Can Do it


A serious accident can occur when passengers interfere with the driver’s driving. Passengers may distract a driver by:

  • Getting into a fight or argument with the driver

  • Obstructing the driver’s line of sight

  • Photographing or videotaping the driver

  • Showing a text message or social media post to the driver

  • Playing with the stereo, navigation system, or another electronic device

Does Talking with Passengers Distract Drivers?


Talking with passengers can be a distraction for drivers. A driver’s focus can shift away from the road when they speak with a friend or family member riding with them.

Studies have shown that conversing with a passenger can lead to slower reaction times and a greater likelihood of being a driver involved in an accident. To reduce the risk of an accident, drivers must limit conversations with passengers and stay focused on the road.


Identifying the Driver at Fault for Your Personal Injury Claim


The first step in determining fault is gathering all the relevant information with the help of a seasoned personal injury lawyer.

Additionally, several factors must be considered, including the other driver’s speed, recklessness, or distraction by a friend or family member.

Following this, your lawyer can begin narrowing down possible sources of compensation for medical expenses once they have identified all possible parties.

Who Can A Passenger Sue To Claim Compensation?


The passenger can sue the at-fault driver, the vehicle’s owner, another driver, the passenger, or a third party. They can also file a claim under their own policy if they have underinsured motorist coverage or health insurance.

In addition, passengers can sue the car or parts manufacturer if they can prove that the car had a defect that contributed to the accident.

motorcycle accident lawyer can help to evaluate the evidence and determine who is ultimately responsible in the accident case and what insurance coverage is available.


Why Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?


It is essential to understand the potential role of the passenger in a car accident and how they may be held liable for damages. So, it is vital that you consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

A lawyer from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can help you review all available evidence and identify the liable parties. If the other driver is at fault for the car crash, your lawyer can help negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company so that you receive fair compensation.

motorcycle accident lawyer will represent you in court if a settlement cannot be reached and ensure a just outcome. Moreover, our lawyers will advise you on your best course of action.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation as soon as possible. 

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